Breck Eisner

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Breck Eisner
Michael Breckenridge Eisner

(1970-12-24) December 24, 1970 (age 51)
California, United States
OccupationFilm director
Georgia Leigh Irwin
(m. 2006)
Parent(s)Jane Breckenridge
Michael Eisner
FamilyEric Eisner (brother)
Stacey Bendet (sister-in-law)
Sigmund Eisner
(great great-grandfather)

Michael Breckenridge "Breck" Eisner (born December 24, 1970) is an American television and film director.

Early life[edit]

Eisner was born Michael Breckenridge Eisner in California, the son of Jane Breckenridge, a business advisor and computer programmer, and Michael Eisner, the former Walt Disney Company chief executive. To avoid confusion with his father, he uses a short version of his middle name/mother's maiden name as his professional first name.[1] His mother is a Unitarian of Scottish and Swedish descent while his father is Jewish.[2]

Eisner attended Harvard High School (now Harvard-Westlake School), Georgetown University, majoring in both English and Theatre, and the University of Southern California's film school where he received a master's degree in film production.

Directing career[edit]

For a directing project at Georgetown, he filmed a contemporary riff on Alice in Wonderland, shooting scenes in the vast empty attic of Healy Hall on the campus, as well as in an abandoned circular trolley-car tunnel under Dupont Circle in Northwest, Washington, D.C.. He also directed Shakespeare plays on the campus.

His MFA thesis film, Recon, a tech noir co-written and co-produced by Steven Cantor, stars Peter Gabriel, Elizabeth Peña and Charles Durning. Set in Los Angeles in 2007, Gabriel plays a weary detective who in order to catch a serial killer uses a new experimental technology, Recon, which allows him to see the last living minutes of the killer's victims through their eyes. Gabriel agreed to appear in the film after having been asked to by Cantor who had served with him on a media advisory board.[3] Peña came on board because she wanted to work with Gabriel while Durning had the same agent as Peña.[1] The film, made for a budget of $21,000, was shot in 1994 but completion took until 1996. It screened at the 53rd Venice International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival, among others.

Eisner had used some of Digital Domain's processors to render images for his film, and the company suggested he meet with some commercial production houses. Thus began his career as a director of commercials, and after only a year-and-a-half, Eisner had directed 14 high-profile spots. His first commercial was Budweiser's Powersurge, which aired during the 1997 Super Bowl. He also took the helm for Rold Gold pretzels' "Comrades" starring Jason Alexander, which featured Pretzel Boy on a rescue mission to the Mir space station. Eisner's two anti-smoking spots for the California Department of Health Services, "Gala Event" and "Funeral", were selected as Best Spots in back-to-back issues of Adweek. In addition, Eisner's "Mad Dog" for Coors's Zima aired during the Seinfeld finale and was chosen by USA Today's "Ad Meter" as the #1 spot. He has also done commercials for Sony, Sega and Coca-Cola.[4]

Eisner's success in the commercial world opened the door for him to direct the TV film The Invisible Man for the Sci Fi Channel. That led to an episode of DreamWorks Television's mini-series Taken (2002), executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Dakota Fanning.

His first full-length effort was the crime drama Thoughtcrimes (2003), which was produced as a backdoor pilot and went straight to video. His theatrical directorial debut was the film Sahara (2005) starring Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz and William H. Macy.[5] The film is considered one of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history.[6][7][8]

Eisner currently works as a director of film and television. In October 2005, it was announced that Eisner would direct a remake of the classic monster film Creature from the Black Lagoon which was dropped in 2009 for unnamed reasons, and in February 2008, it was announced that he would direct The Crazies, a remake of the film of the same name, released in 2010.[9] In December 2009, it was announced he will direct the remakes of Flash Gordon and The Brood,[10] though he later backed out of the latter.[11] He is rumored to direct the remake of Escape from New York.[12] Eisner is set to direct the film adaptation of the Mark Wheatley comic book Blood of the Innocent.[13] In December 2010, he was in talks to direct the film adaption of the Hasbro board game Ouija.[14]

On March 5, 2013, Eisner was set to direct action fantasy film The Last Witch Hunter by Summit Entertainment based on Cory Goodman's script,[15] Melisa Wallack would re-write the script.[16] Vin Diesel stars as lead with Rose Leslie, Julie Engelbrecht, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

In April 2014, Sony Pictures Classics announced that Eisner would direct The Karate Kid sequel starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan.[23] In June 2014, Eisner left the project because of scheduling conflicts with The Last Witch Hunter,[24] released in 2015.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, he married Georgia Leigh Irwin in a ceremony officiated by a Roman Catholic priest and held at her parents' house.[26] Irwin's father is a real estate broker in Palm Springs who developed and sold the resort La Mancha; and her maternal grandfather, Carroll Rosenbloom, was the owner of the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts.[26]



Year Title Director Writer Notes
1996 Recon Yes Yes Short film;
Eisner's MFA thesis film for the University of Southern California
2003 Thoughtcrimes Yes No
2005 Sahara Yes No
2010 The Crazies Yes No
2015 The Last Witch Hunter Yes No

Executive producer

As actor

Year Title Role
1999 The Auteur Theory Moshe from the "film" Brooklyn Will Be Ours


Year Title Notes
2000 The Invisible Man Episode "Pilot"
2001 Wilder Unaired Universal pilot
2002 Taken Episode "Jacob and Jesse"
2006 Beyond Unaired Fox pilot
2008 Fear Itself Episode "The Sacrifice"
2017 The Brave Episode "It's All Personal"
2017-2022 The Expanse


  1. ^ a b Terry Kattleman, The Next …, Advertising Age's Creativity, Vol. 5, Issue 5, June 1997, p. 44.
  2. ^ Pinsky, Mark I., The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust p. 123-129
  3. ^ Kathy DeSalvo, First Time Out, Director Eisner Breaks into Big Time, Shoot, Vol. 38, Issue 6, February 7, 1997, p. 7.
  4. ^ William C. Martel, Breck Eisner, Shoot, Vol. 39, Issue 42, Supplement Directors, October 16, 1998, pp. 38 & 132.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Biggest Box-Office Bombs of All Time Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Glenn F. Bunting, $78 million of red ink?, Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2007.
  8. ^ Glenn F. Bunting, Jurors hear tales of studio maneuvering, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2007.
  9. ^ Icons of Fright
  10. ^ "Breck Eisner Talks The Crazies, Flash Gordon and What's Up with The Brood". DreadCentral.
  11. ^ "Breck Eisner NOT Attached to 'The Brood' Remake". BloodyDisgusting.
  12. ^ "'Crazies' Director to 'Escape From New York'". BloodyDisgusting.
  13. ^ "Breck Eisner Bathes in the Blood of the Innocent". DreadCentral.
  14. ^ "Breck Eisner and McG Both have Their Fingers on Universal's Ouija Planchette". DreadCentral.
  15. ^ "Breck Eisner To Helm 'The Witch Hunter' For Summit/Emmett/Furla; Vin Diesel Circling Title Role". March 5, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "'Dallas Buyers Club's Melisa Wallack To Polish Vin Diesel's 'Last Witch Hunter'". March 31, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Vin Diesel in Talks for Summit's 'The Last Witch Hunter'". September 6, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "'Game of Thrones' Actress Joins Vin Diesel in 'The Last Witch Hunter'". July 11, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "German Actress Julie Engelbrecht Joins 'The Last Witch Hunter'".
  20. ^ "Michael Caine Joins Vin Diesel in 'Last Witch Hunter'".
  21. ^ Yamato, Jen (August 4, 2014). "Elijah Wood Joins 'The Last Witch Hunter'". Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  22. ^ "'True Detective's' Olafur Darri Olafsson Joins Vin Diesel in 'The Last Witch Hunter'".
  23. ^ "Jaden Smith's 'Karate Kid' Sequel Draws Breck Eisner to Direct".
  24. ^ Yamato, Jen (June 25, 2014). "Breck Eisner Out For 'Karate Kid 2′ As Sony, Overbrook Hire New Scripting Duo". Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  25. ^ The Last Witch Hunter Will Live Forever
  26. ^ a b "Georgia Irwin and Breck Eisner". NY Times. June 25, 2006.
  27. ^ A Sound of Thunder: Production Information (pressbook)

External links[edit]